Sauti’s work is driven by strong partnerships and engagement with government, the private sector and civil society:
- Our pilot is implemented jointly by Sauti and the Eastern African Sub Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI). Our partnership builds on EASSI existing work to date at key EAC borders, where with the assistance of donors such as DFID and TMEA, they have set up associations for women cross-border traders, trained women traders on EAC provisions and entrepreneurship skills, and set up Resource Centres where traders can seek guidance. Our platform builds on these existing projects and adopts key lessons learned, while leveraging the network of CBT Associations across the EAC EASSI have helped form and train for market testing and project roll-out. EASSI has an existing database of over 4000 cross-border women traders across the East African region.
- We will also work closely with Uganda and Kenya border agencies to ensure that the trade information provided through out platform is up-to-date and reliable. We will also share data reported though our platform on border performance and incidents with these agencies in order to allow them to monitor and improve border crossing performance and follow up on incidents (the reports will always be kept anonymous to protect the identities of our users). With sufficient buy-in from these agencies the platform could be used to advocate for the creation of corruption & harassment free zones at border crossings. Different border crossings and agencies would be encouraged to improve their performance by challenging any negative incidents within their ranks.
- Most border crossings operate Joint Border Committees (JBC), which aim to improve performance and transparency by bringing all border agencies together. Reports produced through our platform will be used by CBT representatives to provide evidence of any incidents experienced by traders during Committee meetings and lead to concrete resolution of the issues.
- We work closely with donors and major aid for trade programmes in the region such as TradeMark East Africa and East Africa Trade and Investment Hub to market our platform but also utilise our data to educate and advocate on the improvements in border performance, as well as through mass media and public awareness campaigns.
- The EAC Secretariat is tasked with monitoring and eliminating non-tariff barriers that currently exist in the region and countervail EAC laws and regulations. Data gathered through our platform will shed more light on NTBs faced by small-scale traders and businesses and provide the EAC Secretariat with robust evidence that can be used in high-level discussions among EAC Ministries, Customs Agencies and Heads of State.
As we grow and scale our innovation we will work with other private sector and civil society partners to make it available to smallholder farmer groups, producer cooperatives, and small business owners who are interested in accessing the regional market.